A bright autumn afternoon welcomed the Society’s 2010 Autumn meeting and AGM to Haileybury College on 30 October. Luckily the Ayckborn Theatre was spacious enough for the gratifyingly high attendance, 110 members and guests, although every available seat and chair was brought into use.
Our Chairman Trevor James welcomed everyone to the meeting and introduced the speakers.
First on was David Curry (left) from the Hertfordshire Orchard Initiative. He told us about the work of the group in both promoting traditional varieties of apples and pears and revitalising our orchards and enhancing their value for wildlife.
The Woodland Trust are converting land north of Sandridge into a new forest. Volunteers planted almost 100,000 saplings at the Heartwood site last winter. Ken Smith (right with Trevor) described the survey work to monitor the woodland development and the resulting impact on wildlife over the years. He and Linda are monitoring sapling survival. First year results showed that the saplings are vulnerable to dry conditions and browsing by rabbits, hares and deer. Surveys for breeding birds, butterflies, flora and veteran trees are also underway. HNHS and the Woodland Trust are setting up a formal monitoring group to co-ordinate the activities.
Our new County Dragonfly Recorder, Roy Woodward (left) gave us an update on the current National Dragonfly survey and appealed for help with the survey next year.
After the AGM and refreshment break, Peter Oakenfull and Michael Clark (photo right) gave a delightful account of their studies of Hazel Dormice in Hertfordshire woods, and particularly the establishment of Dormice in Haileybury Wood.
The final talk was on bats and woodlands by Daniel Hargreaves of the Herts Bat Group (photo left). Daniel explained the work of the Bat Group and how much there is to learn about woodland bats. He described how radio tracking has enabled roosts in small holes in trees to be discovered. He showed amazing video footage of large numbers of bats roosting in what appear to be only small holes in modest sized trees..
We were very pleased that the meeting was self funding and the raffle of a lovely original painting by Ernie Leahy raised £170.
The Society's Annual general Meeting was held just before the tea break. The photo shows HNHS Chairman, Trevor James and HNHS Secretary, Linda Smith. Further details can be found here.
Photographs taken by Alan Gardiner and Steve Chilton